We finally had a Saturday without any rain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I took advantage of it by driving to one of my favorite hiking areas, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township.
I found the plants and trees of the wetlands achieved their full Summer attire of leaves and are now a deep, lush green.
Even the oaks, always the last to put forth their leaves, are now clad in a coat of green.
And the waters of the canals are joining in the act, turning a light green as the new growth of duckweed spreads through the wetlands.
Soon after setting out on my hike I saw this fellow covered in the new growth of duckweed, a muskrat. He didn’t sit still for long, quickly swimming away as soon as he noticed me. The trees were again filled with the songs of the many species of birds that have returned to our area including a number of the always beautiful yellow warblers.
I also saw a few Baltimore orioles, many among the flowers of the blooming locust trees.
As usual there were many catbirds in the trees along the rails,
as there were the noisy and territorial red-winged blackbirds. here is a male,
and this is a female.
I was hoping to see some cedar waxwings since they, too, seem to be attracted to the locust blossoms. unfortunately I only saw one today and could not get a good photograph.
I saw a few of the tiny common yellowthroats in some of the thicker brush. This is a male.
And I believe this is a song sparrow but I am not certain since I am not very good identifying sparrows.
There were also some year round residents about, including this blue bird,
and this male cardinal perched high on the branch of a dead tree, singing for the entire wetlands to hear.
He didn’t like me watching him singing and decided to find a more private perch to sing his song to the world. There were a few birds I had seen and was able to photograph but I couldn’t identify. I am hoping my birding friends will help. Here is a link to some more photographs of the many birds I saw at the wetlands. Please feel free to identify them if you can. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-birds-May-27-2017
I also saw a few other mammals today, including this chipmunk,
this whitetail deer,
and this groundhog galloping to get way from my camera.
And of course the flowers and plants continue to bloom and grow. The wild blue flag irises are now blooming adding contrast to the deep green of the wetlands.
The high bush blueberries are getting larger and it still appears that there will be a big crop this year.
And there are plenty of blackberry flowers blooming so maybe they, too, will produce a bumper crop this year.
There were also an abundance of mosquitoes which I did not enjoy. it seemed I was covered with them from the moment I entered the wetlands. They are now breeding in the warm murky waters, and breeding very well. Fortunately there were no ticks today.
I also saw a few frogs and turtles on my walk but they now prefer the warm, duckweed covered waters of the ponds and canals and are not as easily seen.
I walked out to Lake-Took-Awhile where I saw many folks fishing along it’s shores or enjoying a cookout at one of it’s many picnic areas.
It sure was a nice day to be outdoors. I wish I could have stayed but I had to head home, so I took a slow walk back to my car, enjoying the many sights and sounds of nature along the way. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-birds-May-27-2017-
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle